Saturday

4th Apr 2020

Russia gives EU six months extra on air passenger law

  • Russia assured the EU that its security services will not do anything untoward with the data (Photo: Wikipedia)

Europeans can still fly to Russia, or over it, from Monday (1 July) without airlines giving their private data to Russian security services.

Under Russia's new Passenger Name Record (PNR) law, EU airlines as of next week have to hand over sensitive information, such as passengers' credit card details, or face landing and overflight bans.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

But if the airlines comply, they would fall foul of EU data protection rules because the Union has no legal framework for PNR exchange with Moscow.

The legal stalemate risked seeing tens of thousands of flights grounded.

But a European Commission source told EUobserver on Thursday: "The Russian side has ensured that the order will not apply to traffic between the EU and Russia until beginning 2014."

The postponement comes after a meeting between EU officials and Russian counterparts in Moscow on 21 June.

Officials from the Russian transport ministry also met with the Association of European Airlines (AEA), a Brussels-based trade body, in the EU capital earlier this week.

Viktoria Vajnai, an AEA spokeswoman, told this website: "As far as we're informed, there won't be any legal consequences if one of our companies does not transfer the required data to the Russians. This is a transitional period until the end of the year."

She added: "The European Commission understands the seriousness of the problem and we see that the Russian federation is willing to start negotiations to find a solution."

The Russian mission to the EU could not immediately comment.

But it said on its website on Wednesday the 21 June talks were "constructive and productive" and "the parties agreed to continue their dialogue."

It noted that it had "assured" the EU delegation that people's data will be protected by "relevant Russian legislation."

According to the commission, the situation arose because Russia failed to send official notification on the PNR law in time.

But Russia notes that the full text of the legislation has been public for almost a year.

The PNR spat comes amid parallel talks on an EU-Russia visa facilitation deal, with Russia keen for the EU to let its officials, or "service passport" holders, enter the Union visa free.

The commission source said Brussels did not give Moscow anything in return for the PNR suspension, however.

No breakthrough at EU budget summit

EU leaders failed to reach agreement on the EU's long-term budget, as richer states and poorer 'cohesion countries' locked horns. The impasse continues over how to fund the Brexit gap.

EU leaders struggling to break budget deadlock

Cuts to innovation, space, neighbourhood and other programme-spending push down the latest budget proposal on the table of EU leaders. Rebates could stay on, to win the support of the net-payers for a deal.

Vietnam sent champagne to MEPs ahead of trade vote

A trade deal with Vietnam sailed through the European Parliament's international trade committee and after its embassy sent MEPs bottles of Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne over Christmas.

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking Europe’s Economy Circular – the time is now
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  3. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms

Latest News

  1. EU's 'Irini' Libya mission: Europe's Operation Cassandra
  2. Slovak army deployed to quarantine Roma settlements
  3. Lockdown: EU officials lobbied via WhatsApp and Skype
  4. EU: Athens can handle Covid outbreak at Greek camp
  5. New push to kick Orban's party out of centre-right EPP
  6. EU launches €100bn worker support scheme
  7. Court: Three countries broke EU law on migrant relocation
  8. Journalism hit hard by corona crisis

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us